Was the UAW Duped?
In the December 12, 2005 edition of “Automotive News”, page 66 in an article by David Barkholtz titled “UAW struggle is just latest in rich history of dissent” former UAW President Doug Frazer and Barkholtz did their best to down play or make irrelevant Soldiers of Solidarity. The (SOS) movement that has sprouted from the ever increasing dissatisfaction and mistrust UAW members have in their leadership or Cooperation Partners is increasing faster that fat around my mid-section problem they are having is they cannot control it anymore from the bunkers of Solid-House or the CHR anymore. So they got a person who has not been inside the loop for twenty years to do their dirty work, Fraser?
Fraser tried to tie SOS and all those who have been attending Gregg Shotwell’s Rank & File meetings to the old New Directions Movement. He said, “In 1986, a movement known as NEW Directions grew out of the industrial restructuring of the early to mid - 1980s, Fraser says. The movement, symbolically headed by Victor Reuther said workers were being ill-served by too-cozy relationship between management and labor.”
“Frazer said the movement mistook pragmatism for conciliation. The union had to operate on the premise that the survival of the members depended on the survival of the companies employing them.
Now first of all I recent being called a dissenter, because the dictionaries definition of dissenter is One who doe not conform. Wouldn’t the Cooperation Partners and or A.C. be better described as dissents because of their anti-democratic, anti-constitution and anti-collective bargaining believes? Furthermore, wouldn’t their actions be more line of not conforming since those of us who have been attending S.O.S. meetings have been fighting to preserve our adherent democratic, constitutional and collective bargaining rights?
I was there! I know what New Directions stood for because I was a NOC member during those years. Pragmatism for conciliation, hogwash, he must be suffering from dementia or something! Oh! Oh! I forgot! That is what he and others A.C. members said about Brother Victor Reuther in a letter titled “An Open Response to Victor Reuther.” Predicated on past events its apparent that the Cooperation Partners already graduated from pragmatism to conciliation a long time ago and now the describing words should be capitulation and collusion. Any intelligent person should conclude that after twenty years of trying mutual interest based bargaining - joint programs and QWL - four billion dollars of GM’s money disbursed into joint programs. Then add up a conservative 9 billion dollars generated for joint funds by all three automakers since 1984 and lets not forget the loss of over half of the UAW’s due paying membership and a 1.5 percent average loss of GM’s market share per year since 1986, along with the failure of the Saturn Project. How could Fraser not realize jointness has been a dismal failure and not just for the workers, but a failure for the union the companies and their stockholders and the nation as well! What will it take to prove to the clowns in the international union that jointness does not work and does NOT save jobs? Nothing, absolutely nothing! There is no sense in even trying, for the Cooperation Partners already understand the International Union cannot continue to exist without joint funds reimbursements that pay for their wages and life long retirement benefits and high style of living. Therefore, until the A.C. can be convinced that the Union can operate with out joint funds reimbursements they will continue to support their corporate Cooperation Partners. Secondly, you have to look at what Shoemaker controls financially as Vice President of the UAW and Director of the CHR. His budget for the year 2001 for the GM Department of the UAW International Union according to the annual audit or trustees report was just over 4.7 million dollars including salaries wages and employment taxes etc. However, that same year he managed over 179 million dollars in total expenditures and joint reservoir funds. Ask yourselves a question, if you were in his shoes, which organization would your priorities and commitment lie?
Was the UAW duped? Absolutely NOT! However, because their wages are written on checks with the UAW logo on them I believe there are a handful of staff members who even today do not understand that the real source for their paychecks is GM, Ford Chrysler via the joint program centers. Just as democracy becomes adherent from generation to generation in our country, I believe cooperation and joint funding has become adherent in those in office in our Union. I refer to the latter as